Manchester-born Iran-based scholar Dr. Sheikh Farrokh Sekaleshfar, who had delivered a lecture about homosexuality in Orlando a few weeks prior to the Pulse nightclub massacre and who has previously said that homosexuals should be "gotten rid of," said in a video that was uploaded to the Islamic Pulse YouTube channel on March 28, 2020 that the coronavirus is ultimately a good thing, since everything Allah has created is a blessing, and that this is true even if the coronavirus is man-made.
He went on to say that during the Iranian hostage crisis, when he said Iranian students had confirmed their suspicions that the American embassy in Tehran had been a "network of espionage," Imam Khomeini had said that the desert sands had served as agents of Allah when they caused the failure of Operation Eagle Claw, the American attempt to rescue the hostages.
Sheikh Sekaleshfar said that the coronavirus is similarly an agent of Allah, and he told a brief story in which Zaynab, the daughter of Ali, had said that even the spectacle of violence and stabbings that she witnessed in Karbala had been beautiful because it was all part of Allah's creation.
Weeks before the June 2016 shooting by Omar Mateen at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, FL, that left 49 clubgoers dead, Sheikh Sekaleshfar had delivered a sermon titled "How to Deal with the Phenomenon of Homosexuality" at the Husseini Islamic Center in Sanford, a suburb of Orlando.
In a 2013 sermon at University of Michigan, Sheikh Sekaleshfar had also said that the Islamic punishment for homosexuality is death and that people should "get rid of" homosexuals out of compassion. For more from Islamic Pulse, see MEMRI TV Clip No. 6944. Islamic Pulse is a media company based in Qom, Iran.